Pelham beats Handley, Hale County to close out Pelham Invitational on high note

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers finished the weekend with a pair of positive results, recovering from a pair of losses to Chilton County and Corner to start the Pelham Invitational to win their final two games.

The Panthers defeated the Handley Tigers 6-3 before beating the Hale County Wildcats 5-1 on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Handley struck first in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single with two outs to take a 1-0 lead.

Pelham then responded in the top of the second after Taylor Howard bunted into a fielder’s choice that allowed Jordan Young to tie up the game at 1-1.

The Tigers allowed three walks on the next four at bats to let the Panthers take a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the third, the Panthers overcame a two-out spot with two runners on base with a Rebecca Roy RBI triple to increase the lead to three runs.

Handley cut the deficit to just one in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI double and an RBI single to make the score 4-3 and put the pressure on Pelham.

However, the Panthers responded in the top of the fifth by loading up the bases with one out. That set up Roy to reach base on an error and score Howard, and a sacrifice fly on the next at bat let Ella Grace Hutchison plate the final run of the game and cap off the 6-3 win.

McKenzie Little earned the win in 4.2 innings, earning two strikeouts against six hits, three earned runs and a walk.

Pelham then closed out the weekend with a 5-1 win over Hale County as it started out the game strong.

The first two batters of the game for the Panthers reached on a walk and a single, allowing Little to hit a groundout that allowed Laini Stewart to score the first run of the game.

Roy then followed that up with an RBI triple to make the lead 2-0 after the first inning.

The Wildcats clawed back within one in the top of the third off a sacrifice fly, but that would be their only run of the game.

Jessica Gray capitalized on a leadoff double to hit an RBI single and bring Stewart home from second base. A walk and a Little single loaded the bases for Roy, and she drew a five-pitch walk to put Pelham up 4-1 at the end of the third inning.

The Panthers then closed out the game in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single by Howard that scored Shelby Grace Bailey and finished off the 5-1 victory.

Emery Plunkett earned the win with four innings without allowing an earned run. She earned two strikeouts against four hits, four walks and one unearned run.

Pelham will hope to make it three wins in a row when it takes on the Calera Eagles on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Pelham High School.